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UV LED Strip Lights for SLA 3D Print Curing
I am considering the use of your UV LED strips in the fabrication of one or more UV curing stations for SLA 3D resin prints. The print objects will be roughly 2-3 inches from the sides of the container during curing. I am looking to duplicate or get as close as practically possible to, the effect of leaving the prints exposed to direct sunlight. What would be the recommended length of your UV LED strip lights for this application? Will I need to consider ventilation to dissipate heat?
Our UV LED strips sound like a nice option for your UV curing needs. Unfortunately, while we completely understand the reason and nature of your question, it'll likely be quite difficult for us to provide you with a satisfactory answer as far as "how much" UV LED intensity would be needed.
The primary difficulty in making this determination is that natural sunlight produces a wide range of ultraviolet radiation, anywhere from 300 nm to 400 nm. It is a combination of these various wavelength energies that are likely producing the chemical reactions needed during the curing process, but without additional information from the resin material manufacturer, we can't be certain as to whether the curing happens most optimally at 320 nm, 340 nm, 360 nm or 380 nm, for example.
Our UV LED strip lights, on the other hand, are narrow-band UV wavelength devices. Our 365 nm LED products, for example, emit energy only in the 355 - 375 nm wavelength range. This typically is a wavelength range that happens to be within the range for many curing processes, but the extent to which this happens efficiently or optimally would ultimately depend on the specific resin material.
As a very rough estimate, we do believe that one or two rows of the LED strip lights, if placed 2-3 inches away from the curing surface, should be a good starting point for testing purposes. No special thermal management for the LED strips would be needed as long as they are used at standard room temperature.
To that end, we would perhaps recommend testing and taking advantage of our free returns policy. If for whatever reason you find that the LED strips are not going to work for your project, we would be more than happy to pay for return shipping and offer a full refund. All we ask is for you to keep the LED strips in their original condition, meaning that the adhesive liner must not be removed, and that the LED strips must not be cut into any shorter sections or otherwise altered.
According to the vendor for my printer and resins, they use a 385-405 nm UV wavelength, with the shorter end of that range being the more effective. How might this change your recommendation (if at all)? Also, when you say one or two rows of the strip lights, you mean the 1m length or 5m?
Based on this graphic published on Wikipedia showing irradiance levels of sunlight, we should be able to extrapolate approximately a 1.0 W/m² /nm irradiance level across the 385-405 nm wavelength range.
If we do a basic integration across this wavelength range, we can estimate that the irradiance levels provided across that 20 nm wavelength range is approximately 20 W/m² .
Based on our measurements of the LED strip light, the irradiance levels at 12 inches is approximately 228 µW/cm², which converts to approximately 2.28 W/m².
You mention that you will be using the LED strip lights from approximately 2-3 inches away. Extrapolating by using the inverse square law twice, we would estimate an irradiance level of approximately 36.5 W/m² at this distance, which will be sufficient to match the irradiance levels of natural sunlight, as suggested by the references above.
Please keep in mind that these values are extrapolated using a combination of empirical and theoretical values, and actual results may vary. It seems, however, that we would be "in the ballpark" in terms of the required irradiance levels to match natural daylight, and we do hope this might be helpful as a first step.
Our suggestion of using one or two rows did not take into account the reel size, as the length of the reel would only affect the irradiance surface coverage laterally and not the irradiance of a single point. In other words, extending a 1 meter reel by another 4 meters would not alone increase the irradiance levels of a point near the beginning of that reel.
You are basically saying that a single one of your 1 m strips at 2-3 inches from the object (wrapped round the sides of the circular can pointed inward) should be able to roughly match the effect of sunlight for UV 385-405 nm range , yes?
I note that the measurement chart you linked to is based on the 365nm strip. Can I assume that the 395 nm strips (which fall within the correct exposure range for my resin prints) will behave in a roughly similar fashion?
The answer to both of your questions is yes, and as mentioned prior, we would recommend testing and taking advantage of our free returns policy. If for whatever reason you find that the LED strips are not going to work for your project, we would be more than happy to pay for return shipping and offer a full refund. All we ask is for you to keep the LED strips in their original condition, meaning that the adhesive liner must not be removed, and that the LED strips must not be cut into any shorter sections or otherwise altered.
After your recommendation, I purchased a couple of 1 m strips of UV LED lighting to trial with 3D print curing. I also purchased a pack of PN 7096 daisy-chain connectors; unfortunately these are quite bulky and interfere a bit with what I am trying to setup. Do the PN 3072 LED strip to strip connectors work with your UV LEDs? These would be a much better solution in terms of space in my curing can.
The first alternative would be to solder your own wires directly, thereby avoiding the thick cables and connector pieces altogether. Please do let me know if you would be open to this approach and I can provide additional guidance on the steps needed.
The second option would be to use PN 3071 to join the two sections together. This cable is thinner and should cause fewer issues for your installation. PN 3072 is also compatible, but does not include the cable so you would be constrained to joining two LED strip sections end-to-end (no turns allowed).
Both products in the second option are packaged in packs of 10. Unfortunately we are unable to split these into smaller packs and we do apologize for the inconvenience.
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Ultraviolet (curing, emulsion)UV-A LED strip lights